The week kicked off with plenty of thrilling action from the World Cup and we saw another two countries book their places in the knockouts. Australia completed an inspiring comeback to go from third to first in Group B, defeating Olympic champions Canada to join Nigeria in the next round.
Japan enjoyed a no pressure performance against Spain and dealt them a 4-0 thrashing, while Zambia ended their World Cup run with a win over Costa Rica. Here’s how the latest batch of fixtures down under unfolded.
Japan 4-0 SpainEmbed from Getty Images
In their final group stage game, Japan pulled off an impressive 4-0 win over Spain. Going three up within the opening 40 minutes, Japan were utterly dominant throughout the entire game. A late fourth secured Futoshi Ikeda’s side’s progression to the Round of 16. The team are yet to concede a single goal at this World Cup.
The victory sees Japan top the group, with Spain taking the second qualification spot. The Japanese will face Norway in the next phase while Spain will need to overcome Switzerland.
Costa Rica 1-3 ZambiaEmbed from Getty Images
Despite being out of the tournament, Zambia pulled off an impressive victory over Costa Rica to see the groups out with a bang. Lushomo Mweemba, Barbra Banda and Racheal Kundananji all got on the scoresheet for the Copper Queens, while Melissa Herrera found a consolation goal for Las Ticas.
Costa Rica finished Group C in fourth position, having failed to secure a single point over their three games. Zambia secured their first ever World Cup win but it wasn’t enough to see them finish higher than third, three points behind Spain.
Ireland 0-0 NigeriaEmbed from Getty Images
A goalless draw between Nigeria and Ireland saw the Super Falcons progress to the knockout stage of the competition. Ireland were unable to qualify for the next round, having failed to pick up a point in their opening two matches. The draw however does give the Girls in Green their first point at a World Cup.
Nigeria will face the winners of Group D with Denmark, England and China as possible opponents. Ireland will take plenty of positives and lessons from their maiden World Cup campaign. Bagging their first World Cup goal alongside taking a point from Nigeria, Ireland will undoubtedly be proud of their performance throughout the tournament, despite bowing out in the group stage.
Canada 0-4 AustraliaEmbed from Getty Images
Defeating the current Olympic champions with a resounding 4-0 victory, the Matildas secured their spot in the final 16 of their home World Cup. A brace from Hayley Raso alongside goals from Mary Fowler and Steph Catley saw the Matildas emphatically take all three points. Australia join Nigeria in the knockouts and will face the runners-up of Group D with three possible opponents.
Canada’s defeat sees them knocked out of the competition after taking just four points from a possible nine. The early exit marks the first time an Olympic champion has failed to progress from the group stage of a World Cup.